Day 3 – At Sea
Our 3rd day on the Oasis was to be our last at sea day prior to our first port stop. This meant another day to relax and enjoy the amenities of the ship before a very busy schedule in the days following.
Kim and I decided to try the Wipeout Café, on the 15th deck at the back of the ship, because it was where the omelette station was located. On most Royal Caribbean ships, there are omelette stations at the Windjammer, but on the Oasis, this isn’t the case. The Wipeout Café is not a very large venue so it was surprising that we did not have to wait in line to order our omelettes as is the case on most cruise ships.
Our order was taken and we were given a numbered card to place at our table so the omelettes could be delivered to us when they were ready. This is another plus compared to other ships we have been on since you usually have to come back to the omelette station when you think your order will be ready. After about 10 minutes our omelettes were delivered to our table. We took ours to go as we had settled in our usual spot in a shady area of the Solarium. Before heading back to our lounge chairs we stopped by the Solarium Bistro and finished loading our plates with meat, cheese, tomatoes and fruit.
After a tasty and filling breakfast it was time to relax and enjoy another beautiful morning on the Caribbean. Kim read, I wrote and dozed (mostly dozed), and we got in the pool to cool down. It is amazing how much of an appetite you can work up during the rigours of relaxation, so after a couple of hours we decided on a quick lunch before heading over to the Aqua Theatre to watch the always entertaining International Belly Flop competition. This has always proved to be a very well attended event on every cruise we have been on.
We arrived about 10 minutes before 1:00pm (the scheduled start for the competition) and the outdoor theatre was packed. We were not able to find shaded seating so we stood in a slightly shaded area on the stairs to the right and near the back of the venue.
The competitors were introduced one at a time by name, place of origin and weight. There were 10 competitors ranging in weight from 160 pounds to a whopping 360 pounds. Each competitor took turns strutting to the edge of the diving box full of confidence fed by male testosterone. Only a couple were able to make the splash with the style and steely nerve worthy of such a prestigious international competition. Most flinched and folded, making their way back to competitors row with their pride stung, but their gonads intact. A tie-breaker between the competitors from New York and New Jersey was required to decide the champion for this event. The final dives took place and the competition was won by New York.
The intensity and stress caused by the dramatic finish to the Belly Flop competition meant it was time for some kind of refreshment. The Aqua Theatre is at the aft end of the Boardwalk, which coincidentally, is also where Johnny Rockets is located. Johnny Rockets is a 1950’s style diner which serves hamburgers, hotdogs and other diner classics and is also one of the specialty restaurants on the ship, which means there is a surcharge to eat here for lunch and dinner. As Crown and Anchor Gold members however, one of the amenities we received is a "buy one, get one free" milkshake at this venue. We took advantage of this offer and each had a chocolate shake. While it took a considerable amount of time to prepare the shakes, the wait was well worth it. This was easily one of the best shakes I have ever had. It was smooth, thick, creamy and topped with real whipped cream – very much like the shakes I remember as a kid growing up in the ‘60s.
Feeling satiated and Zen after a delicious shake, we headed back to the Solarium for more intense relaxing and a dip in the pool. Laura decided to go back to her stateroom while Ian and Kim continued to relax in the Solarium and I prepared for my self-selected activity – the Martini Clinic at the Rising Tide Bar.
The Rising Tide Bar is a boat shaped lounge that seats approximately 30 people and, as its name suggests, moves up and down 3 decks, between the Royal Promenade and the Boardwalk. All of the tables in the lounge are high tops with stools. It is a bit upscale and was the main venue for the singles nights as well as the afternoon Martini Clinic.
The Martini clinic occurs a couple of times during the cruise and on this particular day was scheduled to start at 3:00pm. Initially, I was the only participant, so Jayson, the manager and mixologist asked if I would mind waiting a few minutes to see if anyone else showed up. Eventually a few stragglers arrived, and by 3:15pm there were 7 of us participating in the clinic and a few family members, including Kim and Ian, who came on board as spectators (and sly sippers).
With everyone ready to go, the bar began its slow ascent to the 7th deck and Jayson began the clinic.
The cost of the clinic was $25 per person which included a 2.5 ounce sample of 5 different martinis. None of the martinis were the classic gin or vodka martinis with vermouth and olives or lemon. These were all aperitifs or dessert drinks that were made with a combination of vodka or gin and a variety of liqueurs. We tried the following different drinks: Orange/Mango Martini, Southside, Black Forest Martini, Cappuccino Martini, and Strawberry Cheesecake. The mixing and tasting lasted about 45 minutes and when it was over, we descended back down to the Promenade deck.
I had read on the television messages board that the Oasis was offering a 10 drink card for $79 and since we hadn’t purchased a beverage package for this cruise we inquired about it with Jayson. We had been monitoring our bar budget so we had been selecting wines that were in the $8 range, but that meant a limited selection. Many of the wines (and other cocktails) ranged from $10 to $14. The drink card was good for any drink under $14, so we decided to take advantage of it. This meant that we could order the finer and more abundant wines and still only pay $7.90. The nice thing about the drink card is that it is totally shareable, unlike the drink package. We were also informed that as of recently, Royal Caribbean only offers the beverage package for purchase on the first 2 days of the cruise. Starting on the 3rd day, the drink card is offered as an alternative to purchasing drinks individually.
We returned to our staterooms and got changed for dinner and head to the Aqua Show which had been cancelled the first evening because of potential lightning. We had been rebooked for a 5:15pm showing which meant that we had to go right from the show to dinner.
We headed to the Aqua Theatre for the second time to take in the Aqua Show, Oasis of Dreams. This was a 45 minute non-stop performance consisting of acrobats, divers and gymnasts, many of whom had performed at the National, International and Olympic level. The show was fast paced, with perilous timing and flawless synchronization as divers and acrobats appeared to barely miss each other at reckless speed. During all this fanfare you had to stop and think about the fact that we were on a moving ship!
Equally impressive was the theatre itself. What appeared initially to be a regular polygon shaped pool which was the stage for the performance, turned out to be a technological marvel, with a rising floor that converted the stage from a deep pool to a shallow pool, to a solid floor for the gymnasts and acrobats. Several times during the show a large square trampoline would immerse from the water to be used by divers and acrobats alike.
Following the show we made our way to the Silk Room for another dinner where the food was great, but we all overindulged. Ian and Laura enjoyed the Spaghetti Bolognese, I had a very tasty Lamb dish and Kim enjoyed the Chicken Parmesan with vegetable ragout.
After dinner we settled into the Schooner Lounge for another round of Trivia. This time the theme was Michael Jackson songs so with Ian’s fervour for MJ, we were feeling pretty optimistic.
There were a set of 20 short song clips and you had to guess the title correctly to get a point. We finished with 16 out of 20 correct answers which was good enough for 3rd place. Undaunted, we decided to take in the game “Who Wants to Feel Like a Millionaire” which was taking place at the On Air bar. This game was loosely based on the popular TV game show. Volunteers went up to the stage and had to answer a skill testing question correctly to become a participant. After the 2nd round I was coaxed to give it I try, so I made my way to the stage and waited with anticipation for the qualifying question. The question was a quote and you had to identify what it was from. Before the host was able to finish the quote, a young teenager blurted out Harry Potter, which was the correct answer. I had no clue as I have never seen the movie.
Needing a change of pace after two consecutive game events, Kim, Ian and I headed to the Jazz on 4 (presumably because it is on the 4th deck) and took in a jazz band from Italy called Four’n Jazz Quartet. They were very good, especially the saxophone player who performed a couple of moving solos. We stayed for close to 45 minutes, but had to leave as we wanted to see the Love and Marriage game taking place in the Opal Theatre.
We have seen this particular game on a couple of our other Royal Cruises and it is always a lot of fun. There is a selection process from a group of volunteer couples. The selection is based on finding one couple just recently married, another couple that has been married the longest and then a third couple married for 10 to 20 years. After a rather lengthy selection process, the newlywed couple that was selected had been married for 6 weeks, the middle couple for 22 years and the longest married couple (who reluctantly came up at the behest of their grandchildren) had been married for 58 years.
The success of the game is really dependant on the personalities of the participating couples, and as it turned out, this group was quite entertaining. After 2 rounds of rather embarrassing questions, the couple with the most correct answers was declared the winner – in this case, the couple married for 58 years. They even remembered the restaurant where they had their first date and where they had their most memorable sexual encounter. It was very cute.
This game had started at 10:30pm and by the time it was done the clock was approaching midnight. After a very busy day at sea we were ready to turn in and rest up for our first shore day.
Sharing Our Travel Dreams
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